Microsoft Windows Vista: A Quick Reference Guide to Mastering All That Is Vista

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Nearly six years in the making, Microsoft's Windows Vista will offer users hundreds of new features, with a stylish new user interface, new search features, and better security tools. Best-selling authors and respected tech journalists Larry Magid and Dwight Silverman lead readers through the new Vista capabilities, including the new UI, Windows Sidebar, Internet Explorer 7, Windows Media Player, and Windows Mail. Readers can learn lesson by lesson, or jump to the exercise they ...
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Microsoft Windows Vista: Peachpit Learning Series

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Overview

Nearly six years in the making, Microsoft's Windows Vista will offer users hundreds of new features, with a stylish new user interface, new search features, and better security tools. Best-selling authors and respected tech journalists Larry Magid and Dwight Silverman lead readers through the new Vista capabilities, including the new UI, Windows Sidebar, Internet Explorer 7, Windows Media Player, and Windows Mail. Readers can learn lesson by lesson, or jump to the exercise they need at the moment.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321441928
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2007
  • Series: Peachpit Learning Series
  • Pages: 403
  • Product dimensions: 7.38 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

A syndicated technology columnist and broadcaster for more than two decades, Larry Magid contributes to CBS News, the New York Times, and other media outlets. He served for 18 years as a technology columnist for the Los Angeles Times and his columns have also appeared in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, CNN.COM and numerous other newspapers and Web sites throughout the world. Larry is also the author of the best-selling Little PC Book and MySpace Unraveled.

Dwight Silverman is a veteran journalist who has written about personal computers since the mid-1980s. He currently is the computing columnist and technology blogger at the Houston Chronicle, as well as the co-host of “Technology Bytes,” a weekly PC-help call-in radio show on KPFT-FM. You can read his blog and columns at www.chron.com. He lives in Houston, Texas, with his wife and two children. This is his first book.

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Table of Contents


Meet Vista     3
Better than XP?     4
There's more to like     4
But think before you buy     5
Vista in a Nutshell     5
New Features     6
Security     7
Performance     10
User Interface Enhancements     12
Welcome Center     12
The Aero interface     13
The Start menu     15
Five Versions of Vista: Which Is Right for You?     17
Consumer versions     17
Business versions     17
The best of both worlds: The Ultimate edition     18
Upgrade to Vista     21
Is Your Existing PC Vista-Compatible?     22
Buying a New PC     24
Upgrading an Older PC     25
Upgrade install     25
Full or clean install     29
Get to Know Vista     37
Starting Out with a Clean Screen     38
Optimizing Vista's Performance     38
Customizing Your Desktop     41
Customizing the Start Menu     43
View your options and programs     43
Add or remove Start menu items     44
Rearrange the Start menu or revert to ClassicStyle     44
Access applications from the All Programs menu     45
Run a program that's missing from the Start menu     46
Explore with the right pane     47
Getting Acquainted with the Taskbar     49
Thumbnail views     49
Notification area     50
System clock     50
Exploring Folders and Files     52
Review the primary Vista folders     52
Notice the common elements of folders     54
Recognize unique elements of folders     55
Get acquainted with other types of folders     56
Change your folder's headings bar     56
Change a folder's properties     57
Browse for other folders     59
Use Windows Explorer to work with files     59
Using the Help System     60
Browse help topics     61
Search for help     61
Let someone else help     62
Use Other Programs with Vista     65
Evaluating Existing Program Compatibility     66
Use the Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor     66
Get a sense of what works     67
Evaluating Compatibility for New Programs     68
Installing Programs      69
Install software from a disc     69
Install software from the Web     72
Launching Programs     74
Add and organize icons on the desktop     74
Add and delete Quick Launch icons     76
Launch programs from the Start menu     77
Setting Default Programs     78
Set default programs at the file level     79
Set default programs from the Control Panel     80
Managing Startup Programs     82
Launch a program at startup     82
Prevent programs from launching at startup     84
Find It with Vista Search     87
Conducting an Instant Search     88
Search using the Search box     88
Search within a folder and its subfolders     90
Search using the Search option     90
Running an Advanced Search     92
Expand or narrow your search     92
Use Vista to search the Internet     94
Saving Your Search Criteria     94
Save a search     94
Access saved searches     95
Adding Directories to Your Search     96
Learning About Other Search Options     98
Make Vista Safer and More Secure      101
What Is Safe Computing?     102
Working with User Account Control     103
A built-in warning signal     104
Turn off UAC     104
Using the Windows Security Center     105
Get to know Windows Firewall     106
Use Windows Update     110
Use Windows Defender     114
Bolstering Vista Security     116
Watch out for overblocking     116
Discover the free route to security     116
Configuring User Accounts     117
Create and administer accounts     117
Set up parental controls     122
Backing Up Is (Not) Hard to Do     133
Understanding Backup Concepts     134
Back up files and folders     134
Back up the entire hard drive     134
Backing Up with Vista     135
Create your first full backup     135
Back up your entire computer     138
Restoring Files and Systems     140
Recover files and folders     140
Restore a complete system backup     142
Considering the Alternatives     145
Pick a third-party program     146
Back up online     146
Back up on the cheap     147
Manage Information Using Gadgets     149
Gadget Basics     150
What is the Sidebar?     151
What is RSS?     151
Configuring the Sidebar     152
Launch the Sidebar manually     152
Put the Sidebar in its place     152
Control the Sidebar's behavior     153
Getting Your Gadgets Going     154
Set your gadgets free     154
Add gadgets to the Sidebar or desktop     155
Configure and organize your gadgets     155
Getting More Gadgets     157
Download and install gadgets     157
Roll your own gadgets     158
Discover Internet Explorer 7     161
What's New in IE7?     162
Launching Internet Explorer     162
Exploring IE7's Prettier Face     164
Customize the toolbar     165
Bring back the menu bar     166
Turning On to Tabbed Browsing     166
Configure tabs     167
Open multiple tabs at once     168
Setting Up Built-In Search     170
Add a search provider     170
Change the default provider     171
Reading RSS Feeds in IE7     172
Subscribe to a feed     172
View and read feeds     173
Control feed updates and properties     173
Securing Internet Borders     175
Run in protected mode     176
Fending off the phishers     178
Managing IE7     179
Manage add-ons     180
Clean up with a click     181
Improving Your Printing     184
Preview and print your pages     185
Work with Images     189
Getting Pictures into Your PC     190
The easy way to import photos into your PC     190
Other ways to get images onto your PC     191
Exploring Windows Photo Gallery     192
Launch Photo Gallery     193
Add photo tags     193
Manage images in Photo Gallery     196
Edit photos in Photo Gallery     199
Sharing Photos     203
Print your photos     203
Order prints from a service     205
Copy photos to the desktop     205
Email photos from Photo Gallery     206
Burn CDs     207
Consume and Create Media     209
Media Player or Media Center?      210
Exploring Windows Media Player     210
Get to know the face of Media Player     215
Get music into Windows Media Player     218
Add album art     220
Search music     221
Create and use playlists     221
Rip music from CDs     223
Synchronize your digital music player     225
Watch movies     226
Creating Media Using Windows Movie Maker     227
Make movies with Movie Maker     227
Create a slideshow     236
Publish your movie     238
Making DVDs Using DVD Maker     240
Enhance Your Productivity     245
Using Windows Mail     246
Run and configure Mail     246
Change your Mail settings     249
Create and send a message     250
Send and receive mail     252
Read and reply to mail     252
Deal with junk mail     253
Protect yourself against phishing     255
Create and use signatures     256
Create message rules     258
Access newsgroups     260
Using Windows Contacts     261
Enter a new contact     261
Find a contact     262
Create contact groups     262
Using Windows Calendar     263
Launch Windows Calendar     264
Schedule an appointment     264
Create tasks     265
Change the calendar view     266
Other Tools     266
Go Mobile     269
Using Vista on a Notebook     270
Diving into Windows Mobility Center     270
Display Brightness     271
Volume     272
Battery Status     272
Wireless Network     272
Screen Orientation     273
External Display     273
Sync Center     274
Presentation Settings     275
Managing Power     276
Turn on to a new way to turn off     276
Tweak and create power plans     281
Seeing the SideShow     285
Manage SideShow gadgets     285
Get more SideShow gadgets     286
Remove a SideShow gadget     287
Syncing Up with Sync Center     287
Access the Sync Center     288
Synchronize folders, files, or devices     288
Getting in Touch with Tablet PCs      289
Write or speak a Sticky Note     290
Insert text by using the Tablet PC Input Panel     291
Take smarter notes using Windows Journal     294
Vista on the Network     299
Understanding Networking     300
Connecting to the Internet     301
Connect via Ethernet     302
Connect via Wi-Fi     303
Connect via cellular broadband     306
Connect via dial-up     308
Networking with Vista     309
Gather your gear     309
Add computers to a network     311
Manage your network using Network and Sharing Center     316
Share folders, files, and printers     321
Get into Games     335
Using the Games Folder     336
Take a tour of the Games folder     336
Add games to the Games folder     339
Playing Vista's Games     340
Play Chess Titans     340
Play InkBall     343
Play Mahjong Titans     344
Play Purble Place     345
Rediscover old favorites     347
Getting Your Game On     350
Load up on hardware     350
Tweak your system      351
Find games     356
Troubleshoot Vista     359
Understanding Common Problems     360
Examining hardware problems     360
Exploring software problems     362
Fixing Problems     363
System Restore: Let your computer fix itself     364
Let Microsoft fix it     368
Manage running programs with Task Manager     370
Start in Safe Mode     372
Test for bad memory     375
Troubleshoot startup with MSCONFIG     376
Roll back drivers     381
Use Reliability and Performance Monitor     382
Index     387
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